The Blue Brand got The Big Dog on Friday night, but that may be the least interesting thing that happened with Roman Reigns. The night started off with the announcement that he would be representing SmackDown, and Seth would be representing Raw, for the right of the first draft pick. This isn’t as significant as it once would have been; The Shield brothers have faced each other before, and any animosity seems to be behind them, now. Seth even offered Roman a fistbump before the match started, which Roman returned after a moment’s hesitation. I don’t read that as distrust on Roman’s part so much as the fact that he needs to get into a certain headspace before a match, and Seth essentially pulled him back out of it.
Both of them gave their all, that’s beyond question—and it was a hard-hitting match. It was also one that we never saw the true ending of, because of outside interference. Speculate on the ending that might have been? Maybe. But that interference came from The Fiend, and that trumps everything.
One question remains unanswered, however. Where was Roman, when The Fiend went after Seth? Some suggest he simply “noped” out, not willing to tangle with the monster. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to be afraid; after all, even Braun Strowman fell to the likes of him. But fear isn’t something that Roman is known for, and there is one other distinctive trait in his character that most people forget.
There is a darkness in Roman Reigns that is well controlled, well hidden. He doesn’t let it own him, instead keeping it reined in until desperation drives him to let it loose. We’ve seen it when The Club attacked his cousins The Usos, when Braun Strowman simply would not stop, and most recently, when he sought to avenge his brother Dean Ambrose against Samoa Joe.
At Hell in a Cell, we saw Seth having to be stopped by the ref for going too far, afraid that he was going to literally kill The Fiend. Maybe that’s why Roman stopped himself. He knows what he’s capable of when that darkness descends. Even for Seth, he might not be ready to let it back out.